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Principal’s Message

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  • Laffan-Out-Loud-9/08/2016




    Mary had a fundamental belief that the cross becomes the Tree of Life. Mary faced many challenges from both within and beyond the church as she set about doing God’s will. She trusted that through all these circumstances God’s love would suffice. She was known as Sr Mary of the Cross.

    She is Australia’s first saint, a model of how to live as a follower of Jesus and she continues to pray for us in love. One of her greatest strengths was her    belief in the power of the cross to change her heart and to change the world. May St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, help us to be the face of God for others as she continues to be us.

    Mary MacKillop is a great saint a Great Woman of Australia.

    We at St Michael’s have much to learn from her vision, courage and           compassion for children of Australia.

    At St Michael’s we will constantly live out our character constantly to share the Gospel message of “Love One     Another”.

    At St Michael’s we will follow Mary’s vision in believing that, “all children can and will grow and succeed”.

    Over the next two weeks we will be hosting visitors from Brisbane and North Queensland. This week two school communities will be with us on Thursday. The visiting educators will be spending time in       understanding our work around:


    · Designing and building our learning spaces

    · Creating ‘Shared Beliefs’ in learning and teaching

    · Implementation Plans

    · Establishing ‘Learning frameworks’

    · Working with student data


    But the real reason for their visit is our teachers and our students.


    Our visitors will want to spend time learning how teachers:

    · Collaboratively plan

    · Create Data Walls

    · Establish and work with Lesson Intents and Success Criteria

    · Are continuing to experiment with Co-teaching models and use of space


    Our visiting team include diversity and library specialist. I sincerely thank my colleagues for supporting the growth of colleague professionals.


    “Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is

    no matter what form it takes you are still,

    you are at peace”

    Ekhart Tolle

    “Love One Another”

     John Laffan





    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 9/8/16 12:20pm Permalink
  • Laffan Out Loud - Term 2 Week 6 2016


    Dear Parents and Friends,

    We are all entering an important phase in our school year, assessment and  reporting ensures that all children’s needs are constantly being met. The    collection of student data is a daily event, the analysis of every piece of your children’s work  informs the work of all teaching teams in planning and        programming.


    Each week, I meet with class teachers, learning support teachers (diversity team), Teacher educators and leading teachers to support student needs through

    Case Management meetings.

    These meetings focus on student’s strengths and challenges, short-term goals are created and teaching strategies are confirmed. 

    Students needs are also supported through:

    · Extended Mathematics Programme

    · Reading Recovery

    · Personalised Programmes

    · Targeted Learning Programmes


    The aim of these support programmes is to ensure students needs are supported by highly trained     specialist teachers. We, at St. Michael’s believe in early intervention and aim at tracking the growth of all children.


    Last week we sent another sample of student’s work and teacher responses, we are attempting to      provide a more ongoing insight into your child’s work and growth. As the quote above confirms ‘your child’s success is dependent upon the positive relationship we build between home and school.’


    To support your understanding and participation in your child’s learning I invite you to consider:

    · Seeking advice from your child’s teacher through making an appointment to meet

    · When talking with your child, (in reviewing their work) spend time asking them questions such as:

    - Why were you doing this?

    - What skills were you using in completing this work?

    - What about this work did you enjoy the most?

    - In what ways could you improve on this work? Or

    - How could you do this differently next time?

    · Take time (no matter how old the child) to read with and to your children.

    I want to stress that our role is to support the building of a community where we live out the saying …...


    “Love One Another”

    John Laffan




    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 2/6/16 11:40am Permalink
  • Laffan Out Loud


    Dear Parents and Friends,


    When I reflect on our school’s progress and development for 2016 there are a number of key signs that our school is a strong, faith-filled, learning community.


    As a Catholic School we are able to celebrate our Faith in a way that invites ‘Community’. At our last Liturgy, a ‘Liturgy for Mother’s Day’ we set an incredible bench mark of participation and prayer. This celebration brought hundreds of our family members into our school, where our children demonstrated not only a deep faith and love but high levels of skills in reading, song and dance.


    The wholistic approach we have to education can be seen in one simple snapshot. Last week during lunch, I was able to visit our choir, who were being prepared by members of our teaching team for future school events and eisteddfods, outside other students were practising their skills on a variety of un-tuned percussion instruments. In the adjoining learning spaces groups of dancers were receiving feedback from student mentors. On the oval during this lunch period other teachers and parent helpers were training soccer teams. This is just one small snapshot of a dedicated teaching team providing opportunity to our students.


    Above all our teaching and learning is reaching important stages in meeting our 2016 Goals. In Literacy, Numeracy and Religious Education our teaching teams are working closely with our Teacher Educators and Lead Teachers in:

    Þ Providing 1.5 Hours each week of Professional Learning

    Þ Grade teams working collaboratively in co-constructing teaching programmes from analysis of assessment data

    Þ Weekly collegial class visits with Teacher Educators and feedback around teaching          practise

    All of this, means that our direction is clear in supporting the needs of all our children. We will constantly hold a high level of expectation that all children will succeed and grow.

    “Love One Another”

    John Laffan



    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 19/5/16 10:44am Permalink
  • Laffan Out Loud


    Each and every day that you give witness to the Gospels, witness through your Baptism and each day you share the Nano charism you will reveal life’s true meaning. Each and every day you live out our motto and ministry you will in this era of conflict bring healing into the world one learning space at a time.

    This work is not for the faint hearted, our work demands of us to have courage and determination. After all, our work is seen by many as counter cultural and for many others our existence is unnecessary.

    We know that great teachers need to be great learners and so it is for Catechists we must constantly take time to renew our faith and find sources to deepen our understanding of ‘life giving meaning.’

    And so, let’s deepen our thinking of the Resurrection, with the help of Richard Rohr.


    “Christ Crucified is all of the hidden, private,

    tragic pain of history made public and given

    over to God.


    Christ Resurrected is all of that private,

    ungrieved, unnoted suffering received, loved

    and transformed by an all-caring God.

    Jesus is the blueprint, the plan, the pattern revealed in one body and moment in history to reveal the meaning of all history and each of our lives. The cross is the banner of what we do to one another and to God.

    The Resurrection is the banner of what God gives to us in return.” 


    The importance of a secure and safe school site is an imperative when dealing with child safety.


    NO ADULT is permitted to remain on site other than when attending office, working in the canteen or attending uniform shop.


    ¨ All parents will now “Kiss & Drop” student at entry points.

    ¨ No parents are permitted on school grounds at dismissal.


    These measures ensure that only teaching/administration teams can maintain maximum supervision of children at all times.


    Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility.  As adults we all are accountable to the protection and wellbeing of all children in our care.


    “Love One Another”.





    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 30/3/16 8:52am Permalink
  • Laffan Out Loud - 2.02.2016


    Jeremiah 1:5

    The reading from Jeremiah was Sunday’s first reading and you can imagine the impact it had on two very new grandparents. When you consider our faith and relationship with God, the ramifications for us as teachers and parents can be quite sobering. After all if our children, ‘have been called by name,’ ‘breathe in God as God lives within them,’ and ‘are children of God,’ how then do we ensure our relationships nurture and give life to all those we teach. The simple answer is ‘to be you,’ after all you too are all of the above. “Love what God loves, which is everything and everyone, including you and me.” Rohr.


    This week I’ll be talking up Goals. My Goals, teachers goals and our student goals, this work is not about ensuring accountability its all about action supporting growth and change. Our goals should reflect what personal change we are aiming (realistically) at to bring about growth. In 2016 my goals will respond to our Implementation Plan, so that I will need to develop a ‘Framework’ that will support, planning, implementation and feedback around the success of student’s ability to read and comprehend a variety of texts. The Goals we construct reflect what we need to grow, learn or develop in ensuring that our work is making a difference. My second Goal will support my work in ensuring the professional development of our newly formed leadership team. In ensuring ‘ a new way of learning and serving.’ Our leadership model is all about Learning, Sharing and Service, so how will I support our work? Once again, I’m stressing the need for our goals to be a focus on self -reflection leading to growth.

    So then I invite you to speak with your children.  Invite them to talk about their goals for 2016 … What is it about their learning that they want to develop, improve or grow towards?

    I look forward to learning and growing with you this year.  I believe our communities strength is our willingness to simply but actively live out our motto.

    Love One Another,
    John Laffan

    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 5/2/16 2:26pm Permalink
  • Laffan Out Loud - 8th December 2015


    On behalf of all my colleagues, I wish you and your family a peace-filled Advent and Christmas.

    “Even at night my heart instructs me.  Despite the world of darkness I’m illuminated by God’s love- I’m lit up from within” (Crampsey)

    The Advent story is of waiting, waiting for the light, under occupation and without a ‘King’ the people of Israel lived in darkness. The ‘star’ that appeared lit up the night sky, that same star would herald the ‘light of the world’.

    We know the darkness will never totally go away. We have lived long enough to know that it isn’t going to disappear but that, as John’s Gospel says, “the light shines on the inside of the darkness, and the darkness will never overcome it.” (1:5)

    We must all hope and work to eliminate darkness, especially in many of the great social issues of our time. We know that many of our children experience poverty, family trauma and       cultural discrimination. We know that our district has featured in recent studies of violence to women.

    Our question must be, “How will we allow the light to overcome the darkness?” Yes there has always been darkness, there will always be darkness, but within you and me there is a light. This light will overcome the darkness like the star from the East. After all our light come from an eternal LOVE. Our great gift/ministry is sharing that love/light.

    John Laffan



    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 5/2/16 2:28pm Permalink
  • Laffan Out Loud - 24th November 2015


    In living out Fr Peter Confeggi’s dream the community of Catholic schools met, prayed, learnt and meditated together as we dug into the Gospel of Luke.

    In preparation for Advent, I am inviting you to “Breathe”:

    Take a breath and breathe it out.  Do it again, slowly, and try to mean it.  Breathing of all things maybe we take it for granted.  Do we  ever wonder why we are built this way, this soft machine of ours always pumping oxygen in and out.

    I remember reading of the moment when Moses had the nerve to ask God what was his name.  God was gracious enough to answer, and the name he gave is recorded in the original Hebrew as YHWH.

    Over time we’ve arbitrarily added an “a” and and “e” in there to Get YaHWeH presumably because we have a preference for vowels. But scholars have noted that the letters YHWH represent breathing sounds, aspirated consonants.

    A wonderful question rises to interest the imagination: what if the name of God is the sound of breathing?

    In sadness, we breathe heavy sighs. In joy our lungs feel almost like they will burst. When we are about to do something hard, we take a deep breath to find our courage.

    We read in the Old Testament that God breathed “life into Adam and Eve”.

    We have also read that Jesus, breathed “life into the apostles”.

    As our friend Richard Rohr says, “The breath bypasses the fears, judgments and darkness of the mind”.

    Love One Another

    John Laffan


    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 5/2/16 2:29pm Permalink
  • Laffan Out Loud - 27th October 2015


    Last week as I looked out at our Grandparents, families, my colleagues and of course our children, I couldn't help but feel that we have created a “sanctuary” a “haven” for our children. We do this surrounded by a world that at times wants to flood us with tragic and dark events.

    As adults we need to constantly remind ourselves of the relationship God     invites with us.  Our Grandparents of the 21st century are models of this       relationship as so many give so much to their, children and grandchildren.

    In constantly renewing our relationship with God, we are then able to pass this love fully to our children.   Richard Rohr is worth a read…..

    Uniquely with God
    Probably the most courageous interior thing a man will every do is trust that his little soul could be in a unique relationship with God, that he reflects a facet of God’s glory that no one else will ever reflect in just that way.  Such knowledge is not an ego trip; it doesn’t make you enamoured with your own specialness.  It does cause you to fall in love with that God who has chosen you, lives in you, and loves you exactly as you need to be loved on each stage of your journey.

    If you think this is wishful thinking, listen to St John of the Cross, a doctor of the church: “God carries each person along a different road, so that you will scarcely find two people following the same path in even half of their journey to God” (The Living Flame of Love, 3:59).  It makes you wonder why we ever thought that generic law, administered in absolutes, could ever deal with the beautiful complexity of the soul in relationship to its God.

    Love One Another


    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 5/2/16 2:16pm Permalink
  • Laffan Out Loud - 15th September 2015


    I wanted to share a piece from my Monday reflection to my colleagues...

    “Dear Colleagues and Friends,

    The gift of belonging to a community such as ours was never more tangible than a last Friday’s prayer gathering. The violent act that has taken away the lives of two innocent people and left the remaining loved ones in a state of shock, became for us on Friday a reason to breathe in God.

    Prayer and solidarity, drawing from the strength of community, these were our immediate responses in trying to understand and accept our range of feelings and emotions. The gift of faith certainly provides support through the language of hope, but the gift of community gives that hope a purpose. Being connected to community allows us to lift our gaze from self and instead draws us to the other.

    In our case the greater other is all about our work. I believe the other was our students and our understanding that our ministry is all about serving the most vulnerable the most precious of human beings. It was this understanding that supported our own sense of loss and allowed us to share our faith and hope with our children.

     Dear friends, we have a great job to do, in ensuring our students feel safe, understand that they are loved and feel a sense of empowerment. We must continually live out our Baptismal promise. Through sharing the words of Jesus, “The water I will give you will give you eternal life…”we will share a faith that has an active response against violence to women and children.

    We will go on sharing our Vision and Mission. Through our community we will be a Wellspring of hope.”

    The above reflection speaks of a belief that we all hold dear at St Michael’s through our work and in living out our motto of “Love One Another” we will constantly wish for the “Common Good”.

    As we draw our term to closure, I want to pay tribute to the staff of St Michael’s.  Those people who serve you and your children do so with highest level of compassion and professionalism.

    Sincere thanks to our brilliant P & F.  Your support, your gentle words, your actions, your cakes and  flowers have given us all so much strength.

    God Bless you all.

    Love One Another

    John Laffan


    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 5/2/16 2:29pm Permalink
  • Laffan Out Loud


    Dear Parents and Friends,

    Last week I had the pleasure of working with an enthusiastic and proactive group of parents. Under the leadership of our Parents and Friends Executive, Volunteer Class Reps looked closely at how parent classroom support can make a difference in student learning outcomes.


    The parent teams also looked at other important initiatives in building school community. The range of topics included; Family Fair, Social Gatherings, Christmas Carols, Open Days, Parent Feedback Forums (looking at uniforms as one topic) and Parent Learning and Spiritual Forums.


    An ongoing goal for us will be ‘to continually seek bridges between school and home’.

    As a result of our meeting:

    Tours of New Learning Spaces

    Tuesday, 5th November and Thursday, 7th November - there will be tours into our new learning spaces. All parents are invited to visit what I believe will be the finest learning spaces in Australia. The times for tours, 9.30 am, 12.30pm and 2.15pm on each day. Also on Tuesday, 5th November we will conduct a twilight tour commencing at 5.45pm.


    Reading in classroom Seminars

    Tuesday, 5th November and Thursday, 7th November - These seminars will support 'Parent Reps' work in our Literacy Blocks. Parent workshops will commence at 1.30pm on each day.


    To register for tours or seminars please complete the slip attached on last page of newsletter.



    When we gather in prayer, when our children celebrate the love of God and Grandparents, the reality of our true purpose becomes so clear. We have all been born spiritual beings. Our journey is to become fully human. Through "Loving One Another" our true human self will grow. The life begun by our grandparents is a true celebration of God's constant invitation to see, know and experience him. In such a place we become truly “One”.



    As you read this, over 1/2 kilometre of carpet is being laid and window fittings are being fitted. The most contemporary light fittings and sound modification techniques are being installed. Our agile learning spaces will support the finest educators in ensuring all children's learning potential is achieved. We are almost at the end of a 3.5 year planning phase, our teachers and children are well prepared to continue their 'love of learning.'


    Our next few days will see the completion of landscaping and final orders made for furniture. 2014 teaching teams will continue their planning together. We are using our work in the new English curriculum to support our work in co-teaching and collaborative learning.


    Posted By Lynne-Maree Campbell at 7/11/13 2:53pm Permalink
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Hidden UpdatePanel, which is used to help with saving state when minimizing, moving and closing docks. This way the docks state is saved faster (no need to update the docking zones).